Perceptions of Problematic Credibility in John Oliver’s “Statistically Representative Climate Change Debate"

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Department of Humanities


Satirical television programs have been praised as valuable sources of news as well as science information, such as stories on climate change. This paper analyzes a population of comments from the YouTube comment board for John Oliver’s 2014 “Statistically Representative Climate Change Debate” to gauge how resistant audiences engage with Oliver’s argument and assess his and Bill Nye’s ethos. The conclusion offers suggestions about how, when broaching the subject of climate change, satirical comedians and science communicators, in general, may better reach oppositional audiences.

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2018: Understanding the Role of Trust and Credibility in Science Communication